“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
I used to be a lone ranger, wanting to do things all by myself. My mule-like independence, and lack of trust in other people, kept me from exploring a lot of creative ideas. Sound familiar? Eventually, I got smarter, and learned to appreciate the benefits of creative partnerships. I credit Tim Trueheart with my ability to collaborate–he was my first creative partner, and together we’ve tackled a lot of creative projects over the past seven years.
Partnerships can be tricky though–especially if you partner with the wrong person or if YOU are the wrong person.
But, if we can learn to recognize good creative partners, and take care to foster these relationships, we will be able to launch new endeavours to help us with our creative and entrepreneurial success.
What Makes An Ideal Creative Partner?
Someone who is as enthusiastic about your vision as you are.
A person with complementary skills.
Someone with a track record. Have they created or produced anything before? Do you have any evidence of follow through?
A business or organization that could benefit from a creative partnership with you or your business. The pARTnership Movement is an organization that believes in this type of collaboration and plenty of success stories to get you inspired with the possibilities.
How To Find Creative Partners
Get outside your house as much as possible for authentic, human interaction and engage in good conversation. Meet a variety of people.
Actively and constantly look for ways you can help people.
Make networking a game. Can you make five people smile today? Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Nervous about talking to strangers? Don’t be afraid of reading self-help books for tips on starting a conversation. I recommend the self-help How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
How To Foster A Creative Partnership
Be honest and use good communication.
Show and expect mutual respect.
Talk is cheap. Make sure good conversation is punctuated by action.
Pay attention to signs of bad character. Do words match actions?
Have clear, written expectations of roles, responsibilities, and deadlines. Use a service like Slack to track communication and documents.
Why Do You Want to Form These Relationships in Your Community?
You can meet your heroes! If you are an artist of any kind, you can attend shows and events within your community and be in the same location as people in your world that have influence. This gives you the opportunity to make a face to face connection.
Collaboration! Creativity thrives on collaboration. Develop partnerships with people you admire that will benefit them. It will lead to more work, and build your reputation.
Partnerships grow your core network and introduce more people to what you do.
Remember this, JellyVisionaries:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.“
– Helen Keller